11th Hour Racing retires from Leg 7
Published on June 16th, 2023
11th Hour Racing Team has officially retired from Leg 7 of The Ocean Race, unable to continue racing competitively following a huge collision, just 17 minutes after the start of the final leg in The Hague on Thursday, June 15.
The collision was with GUYOT environnement – Team Europe who was at fault and has also retired from Leg 7.
11th Hour Racing Team has also submitted a Request for Redress to the World Sailing International Jury. This is a procedure under the Racing Rules of Sailing to compensate a boat when ‘a boat’s score or place in a race or series has been or may be, through no fault of her own, made significantly worse’.
“We are working around the clock to repair the boat as quickly as possible, and our intent is to sail to Genoa to rejoin the fleet and complete this lap around our blue planet,” said Skipper Charlie Enright (USA). Everyone is obviously devastated – no one wants to finish a race like this – but spirits are high within the team, and everyone is focused on finishing this incredible race on a high note.””
While the five IMOCAs were racing in the inshore section immediately after the start, 11th Hour Racing Team were in second place, and they tacked on the layline of mark 4, approaching on a starboard tack. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe approached on port tack and were required to give way and, despite calls from Enright, didn’t alter course and collided into the side of the 60-foot race boat. No one on either boat was injured, but both vessels had extensive damage, requiring them to return back to The Hague.
Skipper of GUYOT, Benjamin Dutreux, immediately came to see the American team and, clearly devastated, offered his apologies to Enright. “I was helming, and I just saw their boat appear suddenly, and it was too late. The contact was unavoidable [at that point]. I take full responsibility. It is our fault.” The Frenchman also offered his full team to support in any way they could.
Mark Towill, CEO of 11th Hour Racing Team added, “The support from The Ocean Race community here in The Hague has been tremendous, and we have had messages coming in from fans, partners, and supporters from around the world – it really has been overwhelming and felt by everyone here. We will continue to work 24/7 and are doing everything we can to have the boat and full team in Genoa for the Grande Finale.”
11th Hour Racing Team Crew for Leg 7:
Charlie Enright (USA) – Skipper
Simon Fisher (GBR) – Navigator
Jack Bouttell (AUS/GBR) – Trimmer
Francesca Clapcich (ITA) – Trimmer
Amory Ross (USA) – Media Crew Member
IMOCA Overall Leaderboard (after 6 of 7 legs)
1. 11th Hour Racing Team — 33 points
2. Team Holcim-PRB — 31 points
3. Team Malizia — 27 points
4. Biotherm — 19 points
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe — 2 points
VO65 Overall Leaderboard (after 2 of 3 legs):
1. WindWhisper Racing Team — 12 points
2. Team JAJO — 9 points
3. Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova — 7 points
4. Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team — 5 points
5. Viva México — 4 points
6. Ambersail 2 — 3 points
IMOCA: Name, Design, Skipper, Launch date
• Guyot Environnement – Team Europe (VPLP Verdier); Benjamin Dutreux (FRA)/Robert Stanjek (GER); September 1, 2015
• 11th Hour Racing Team (Guillaume Verdier); Charlie Enright (USA); August 24, 2021
• Holcim-PRB (Guillaume Verdier); Kevin Escoffier (FRA); May 8, 2022
• Team Malizia (VPLP); Boris Herrmann (GER); July 19, 2022
• Biotherm (Guillaume Verdier); Paul Meilhat (FRA); August 31 2022
The Ocean Race 2022-23 Race Schedule:
Alicante, Spain – Leg 1 (1900 nm) start: January 15, 2023
Cabo Verde – ETA: January 22; Leg 2 (4600 nm) start: January 25
Cape Town, South Africa – ETA: February 9; Leg 3 (12750 nm) start: February 26
Itajaí, Brazil – ETA: April 1; Leg 4 (5500 nm) start: April 23
Newport, RI, USA – ETA: May 10; Leg 5 (3500 nm) start: May 21
Aarhus, Denmark – ETA: May 30; Leg 6 (800 nm) start: June 8
Kiel, Germany (Fly-By) – June 9
The Hague, The Netherlands – ETA: June 11; Leg 7 (2200 nm) start: June 15
Genova, Italy – The Grand Finale – ETA: June 25, 2023; Final In-Port Race: July 1, 2023
The Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race and Whitbread Round the World Race) was initially to be raced in two classes of boats: the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class and the one-design VO65 class which has been used for the last two editions of the race.
However, only the IMOCAs will be racing round the world while the VO65s will race in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint which competes in Legs 1, 6, and 7 of The Ocean Race course.
Additionally, The Ocean Race also features the In-Port Series with races at seven of the course’s stopover cities around the world which allow local fans to get up close and personal to the teams as they battle it out around a short inshore course.
Although in-port races do not count towards a team’s overall points score, they do play an important part in the overall rankings as the In-Port Race Series standings are used to break any points ties that occur during the race around the world.
Held every three or four years since 1973, the 14th edition of The Ocean Race was originally planned for 2021-22 but was postponed one year due to the pandemic, with the first leg starting on January 15, 2023.